YouTube Player Creative Commons Enhancement

With the latest maelstrom surrounding some Twitch streamers having their accounts banned due to DMCA violations, we at PhantomBot have decided to provide a method to help protect you and your channel. The YouTube Player will have a new configuration option to only allow song requests and songs in playlists to be licensed on YouTube as Creative Commons.

Do keep in mind that this is still not necessarily a perfect safety net.  Unscrupulous users of YouTube could upload a video of a copyright protected song and apply the Creative Commons license to it.  We suggest still being vigilant when song requests are made in stream.

This is available as of the 25 June 2018 Nightly Build.

Allowing Only Creative Commons Licensed Content

How does this work then?  You have the option to toggle a feature to have PhantomBot check the license returned by YouTube by running the following command in chat:

!ytp togglecconly

YouTube indicates that there are two types of licenses at the present time, one being youtube and the other creativeCommon.  When this toggle is enabled, the PhantomBot YouTube Player will only allow songs with that particular license to be played.  If this is not the case, there will be an error logged and a message presented to chat:

Failed adding song to queue: YouTube error (Video is not licensed as Creative Commons (ID: abcDEFg123))

Cleaning Up the Default Playlist

Before this feature is toggled, you must create a new default playlist that has at least one Creative Commons song in it.  Failing to do so will result in no songs being played and may result in the YouTube Player experiencing an unrecoverable error.  The easiest way to do this is to turn off the YouTube Player, reset the default playlist, then start the YouTube Player again.  To reset the default playlist:

!ytp resetdefaultlist

Again, if a playlist is loaded with all copyrighted music, the player may experience an unrecoverable error.

Finding Creative Common Music in YouTube

The easiest way to discover creative common music in YouTube is to perform a standard search from the YouTube website.  An example is to search for a genre of music, such as pop music.  Once you have searched for that, click on the filter option and select Creative Commons from under the Features section.  This will return a list of videos that have been marked, by their uploader, as licensed under Creative Commons.  As mentioned before, there may be some users that have uploaded copyrighted material and marked it as Creative Commons.  If you notice this, report this immediately to YouTube.

This is an example of looking up "pop music" in YouTube:

Also note that when testing this feature it was discovered that some songs have duplicates under the YouTube and Creative Commons license.  Interestingly, this was even the case for music that is clearly marked at Creative Commons in the description, even with a YouTube license.  It is best to use the ID when requesting songs if there are any issues.

Please ensure that your community is aware of how this works.

Does this Completely Protect My Channel?

As mentioned before, no.  This serves as the best solution that we can provide to still allow your users to request songs on YouTube and for you, as the broadcaster, to create playlists.  YouTube users may still flag copyrighted material as Creative Commons and there is no method that we can use to protect you from this.  That said, PhantomBot and the PhantomBot development team cannot be held liable if songs that are requested are found to be in violation of DMCA.  We can only provide automated decisions based upon the data provided.

If you wish to ensure that you are only providing a music experience in your channel that has been deemed clear of DMCA violations, please use the music provided at Twitch's Music Site.  Please note that not all of these songs may not be provided on YouTube under the Creative Commons license.  We would suggest using one of the services that Twitch recommends on the aforementioned website.

Another popular service that you may use is Pretzel Rocks. They provide a music library for live streamers that is provided by artists that is DMCA-free. They provide both a free and premium service, the premium service provides a few more perks over the free service at this time.

Final Thoughts

We understand that seeing broadcasters banned from Twitch for DMCA violations is a frightening ordeal.  We wish to do everything that we can to help you feel comfortable providing a musical experience for your viewers.  Our hope is that by providing these options that we help to improve your safety and the experience for your viewers, those people that you entertain and share your gaming and other experiences with day after day.